Wisconsin Dem AG Josh Kaul, saying federal agents slated to come to Milwaukee cannot attack peaceful protesters, held out the possibility of taking legal action if they do.
Last week, the Trump administration announced it would be surging federal agents to Milwaukee and several other cities with rising crime rates. The U.S. attorney in Milwaukee said the agents will help support local law enforcement in fighting crime.
But the situation in Portland, Ore., where federal forces are engaged in tense confrontations with protesters, have Milwaukee and state officials questioning the planned agent surge in Wisconsin.
“That cannot happen in Wisconsin,” Kaul said about the situation in Portland. “If it does happen, I am going to be speaking out, and I’m going to be taking any appropriate legal action.”
In an interview aired Sunday on “UpFront,” Kaul said the surge of agents “appears to be a political stunt.” The program is produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
“If federal agents are really coming to work collaboratively with local law enforcement, and they are going to be transparent about what their plans are, I’m certainly happy to work together with them to work to reduce violent crime” Kaul said. “But we’re going to watch this closely and see how things unfold.”
Also on the program, UW System President Tommy Thompson said he is “pushing back” against budget cuts planned by Dem Gov. Tony Evers.
Thompson, a former Republican governor, said the system budget already was reduced by $50 million in the first round of cuts.
“It’s going to be harmful to the institution, but we’re going to be able to work with the governor, I’m confident, work with the staff. And I’m fairly satisfied that we’re going to be able to handle it. But it’s going to be difficult,” Thompson said.
“I’m going to do everything I possibly can to fight every day for the betterment of the university, and I’m hopeful to be able to convince the governor, his staff and the Department of Administration to reduce that amount. We’re going to be working towards the effort, and I think we’ll be, hopefully be successful,” Thompson said.
He also said UW campuses will be opening up Sept 2 with COVID-19 precautions fully in place.
“We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that our campuses are safe, that our professors, our instructors, our employees, and above all our students are going to be safe and protected,” Thompson said.
The coronavirus prevention efforts will include sanitation protocols, a requirement for masks and face coverings, and a recommendation that students get flu shots, he said.
In another segment, the chairman of the Fond du Lac County Republican Party explained why he is countering President Trump’s claims that voting by mail will lead to a rigged and corrupt election.
“I think mail-in, absentee voting can actually help Republicans in a state like Wisconsin,” said Rohn Bishop of Waupun.
Bishop says Wisconsin’s vote-by-mail system is sound, convenient and easy to do.
Bishop said he is worried that Trump’s statements and tweets on the matter will scare older voters and hurt Republicans down ballot.
Bishop said he is not trying to be critical of the president. But he fears that some voters, who are worried about coronavirus and who believe the president’s unsubstantiated claims, might just stay home on Election Day.
“Not only is President Trump not getting that vote, neither is my congressman, my state senator, and my state assemblyman,” Bishop said.
See more from the program.